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How to Write a Solid Summary Statement for Your Resume, Part VI: Quotes

Updated: Jul 11

Have you ever wanted to say something in your resume but couldn’t figure out how to write it in resume-speak? Or maybe someone else said it better?


Why not use a quote?


Quotes can help you express your accomplishments without breaking common resume grammar rules, like

the one against using personal pronouns.


For more information about resume grammar, see my e-book “Grammar Greatness for an Error-free Resume: 20+ Grammar Rules You Might Be Breaking.” (Coming soon.)


In this post, I’ll show you how to use quotes in your resume summary statement, allowing the reader to connect with your work on a deeper level.


Note: This is the last post in the series “How to Write a Solid Summary Statement for Your Resume.” Revisit posts one through five for information on why a summary is so crucial in representing yourself professionally. In those posts, I show you how to develop high-quality content and write the first four sections of your resume summary: the job description line, the summary paragraph or bullet points, the branding statement, and the technical skills or areas of expertise section.


This post covers the fifth part of a resume summary, quotes.

Step 3.5: Establish credibility by using quotes.

Sometimes, a quote is included in the summary section. It might be a quote from a superior, client, notable thought leader in the industry, or even yourself that expresses your philosophy about your work. Using one or two quotes in a resume is a great way to show that your brand matches the employer’s.


They should be short, no more than one or two sentences, and directly relevant to the skills or mindset you need for the job. When formatting quotes, you could put the quote inside quotation marks or use italics with the person’s name, not in italics.


Use testimonials from a superior.

A testimonial written by a superior can demonstrate your reliability and leadership from an employer's perspective. Stating the name, title, and company can add credibility and bolster your accomplishments.

Provide a recommendation from a client.

A recommendation from someone who has used your services can demonstrate what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your work, such as this example written for a nurse:

For confidentiality purposes, the author has been anonymized. You can do this by using the person’s initials or giving a fictionalized name.

Write your own.

Writing your own quote gives you an opportunity to say something directly to an employer. Here is an example written by an educator applying to a charter school:

In this case, she wanted to express her passion for teaching in a way that resume-speak doesn’t allow.


Quote someone you admire.

Using a quote from a current thought leader or a historical figure can express your professional philosophy on a deeper level. The educator from the example above used this quote later in her resume to demonstrate how strongly she believed in changing the educational system:

Quotes can garner the reader’s interest. However, to maintain the traditional resume format hiring managers expect, limit their use to one or two in a document.


Adding quotes to your summary section can pull everything together for the reader and further solidify your brand.


Summarizing the Summary Statement


In today’s competitive job market, your resume summary statement must tell a compelling story about you as a professional to capture the hiring manager’s attention. To create that content, you’ll need to find a job description, develop STAR narratives, and write the relevant sections of your summary.


You might not use all five components of the summary section — the job title, the summary paragraph, the branding statement, the technical skills or areas of expertise, and a quote — but at the very least, include the job title and a summary paragraph to introduce yourself. The hiring manager wants to know what you’re applying for and why they should keep reading.


Take the time to craft a solid summary statement. Aligning your professional highlights and personal brand with the employer’s needs will make the best first impression and help you get an interview.

Want to have all six posts on this topic in one convenient e-book? Download “How To Write a Solid Summary Statement for Your Resume.” (Coming soon.)


Need personal assistance with your resume or job search? Book a complimentary consultation today and grow your career with Kristin.


Kristin S. Johnson, CARW, CJSS, CCMC, COPNS, CG3C, CBBSC

Job Search Coach and Resume Writer

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